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New Orleans City Council going back to virtual meetings as COVID cases spike

Council President Helena Moreno said it's a temporary measure as New Orleans faces a "severe outbreak" of COVID-19.

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans City Council is going back to virtual meetings as COVID-19 cases spike in Orleans Parish and across Louisiana.

Council President Helena Moreno made the announcement Wednesday that the Jan. 6, 2022 City Council meeting will be held virtually to minimize the risk of spreading Covid.

On top of that, all staff and visitors to Council offices will be required to wear masks.

"I am imposing these temporary measures to once again reduce COVID risks for the public and Council staff while still conducting the important business of governing," Moreno said.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Louisiana is sharply increasing as thousands of new cases of the virus are reported daily.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported 9,378 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, one of the highest single-day increases of cases since the pandemic began. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased by 145 patients on Tuesday to a total of 659 people hospitalized across the state with the virus. About 77 percent of those patients were unvaccinated. 

"With Omicron surging, it's important to have layers of mitigation for full protection," said Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director of the New Orleans Health Department. "By moving to virtual meetings and wearing masks, City Council operations can continue safely and in the public interest."

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